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Full text of "Medical Jurisprudence And Toxicology"

BLOOD  STAINS                                                         103

(1)   When a child is born in lawful wedlock, and the tusband denies
that he is the father of the child,

(2)   When a child is born out of lawful wedlock, and the mother accuses
a certain man of being the father of the child, while the man denies the

(3)   When  a woman pretends pregnancy and  delivery, and obtains a
child to pass it off as her own.

In such cases it cannot be said by the determination of the blood groups
of the parties concerned that a particular man is the father of a given child,
but it may be possible to affirm by a process of exclusion that he cannot be
the father of the child. The importance of this means of establishing non-
paternity is obvious and has its application, in suits of maintenance of illegiti-
mate children and in suits of nullity, alleged adultery and blackmailing.
The blood grouping tests have been accepted as evidence in the courts of
India, England and other European countries.

In June 1941, a case ^ where the maternity and paternity of a child were tinder
dispute in the criminal court at Mercara was decided for the first tirne in India entirely
on the results of the blood grouping test.

A case So is recorded where the petitioner sued for nullity on the ground, that his
wife was pregnant by another man at the time of marriage. In his evidence before the
Divorce Division Court he stated that he had cohabited with his wife once on June 15,
1940, before his marriage, that he married her in the following August, and that she
was delivered of a full-term female child on January 8, 1941. Dr. Roche Lynch gave
evidence that he had grouped the bloods of the husband, the wife and the child, and
had found that the husband belonged to group OM, the wife to group BM and the child
to group ABMN. As^a child can only inherit the group characters from one or other of
its parents this child's A and N characters must have come from another man. The
Judge pronounced a decree of nullity, as the evidence proved conclusively that the
husband was not the father of the child.

On the other hand, in a case 3G of summons by a wife against her hus-
band for maintenance heard in the South-West London Police Court, where
the wife's blood group was AM, the husband's blood group OM and the
baby's AMN, it was apparent that the N character of the blood type must
have come from another man, but the Judge did not depend upon the evi-
dence of the blood and ordered that the husband had to maintain the wife
and the baby.

In certain cases of disputed maternity, where the same child is claimed
by two women or two children in a maternity home or hospital are inter-
changed by accident or substituted by design, it may be possible to solve
the difficult situation by determining the blood groups of parents and
children. For example, if the father and mother belonged to group O, and
the two children in question belonged to groups O and A respectively, the
child of group O must be the offspring of the two parents under

Grouping of Blood Stains.—About 150 mg. of the blood-stained material
or about 75 mg. (about 1-1/6 grains) of dried blood and control free from
the stain should always be available for applying the grouping test to blood
stains. When a comparison is to be made between the groups, both the blood-
stained materials should be adequate in quantity.38 The determination of
the group of a blood stain is more difficult than that of a fresh blood, and
success depends to a certain extent upon the age of the blood stain, upon
putrefaction and upon chemical changes.

34.   G. P. Charleswood, Ind. Med. Gaz.s Aug. 1941, p. 482.

35.   Lancet, May 9, 1942, Vol. I, p. 570.

36.   Brit. Med. Jour., Jan. 22, 1944, Vol. I, p. 134.

37.   Snyder, Blood Grottpinp, Its relation to clinical and legal medicine, 1929, p. 89.

38.   Instructions  from the Imperial 'Serologist to the  Chem. Examiner, Beng.   (vide
his letters Nos. 3811/S, dated 28-8-36 and 3870/S, dated 7-12-37),